Track takes off

Norv and Mary Coblentz · Wednesday, March 15, 2017
There’s still a lot to figure out for both the boys and girls track teams, but they’re boasting the right amount of numbers to be competitive.

Boys Track

It's early yet for the boys, and the 2017 West Liberty boys track and field coaches haven't fully determined who will participate in each event this season.

The team has some returning talent including some state qualifiers.

Three of the four 4x200 state qualifiers return: Michael Hartman, Noah Feldman, and Tanner Iske.

N. Feldman is a returning high jumper as well as member of the state-qualifying 4x200 team. The same three runners (Iske, Feldman, and Hartman) return from the state-qualifying 4x100 team. Bryce Esmoil placed sixth in the discus at State last year, and he returns. Iske ran in the 100m dash finals at state.

In addition to state-qualifiers returning, “We've had some nice surprises," Co-head coach Gus Garcia said. Coy Ruess is running well. "Our sprints are looking good, same way with the hurdles. We need a couple (athletes) to fill in. Spencer Daufeldt already had a personal record (throw) in the shot - over 40 feet."

The boys participated in the Washington Demon Indoor meet March 10. “It’s looking good,” Garcia said. “After (the Demon meet), I was really happy with some of the times we’ve had.”

“Ruben Renteria is doing well,” Co-head coach Marc Hauschildt said. “He’s jumping between sprinting and distance running. And Joe Kelly is a great addition if he can continue what he’s been up to.

“There’s good team chemistry overall. There have been years where there’s been complaining here and there. I haven’t had much of that this year. (The boys have) very positive attitudes.

“I think we have a chance to be in the top five or six in the conference.”

Kane Newsom and Luis Mendez are senior distance runners. Robert Lopez is a senior sprinter and was part of the record-breaking 4x100 and 4x200 teams. Three Keyes is a senior distance runner.

Team leaders include Noah Feldman, who “leads by example” according to Garcia. Also, T. Iske “stepped it up this year. He’s doing a great job.”

Garcia and Hauschildt are looking forward to the returning state qualifiers talking to the rest of the team about what it takes to win. It seems to Garcia that it’s having a positive influence so far. “Kids are willing to try events,” he said.

Garcia is pleased to have Bradley Daufeldt back as volunteer throwing coach. “He’s a great volunteer,” Garcia said. “I’m glad he’s on our side. His best pupil (so far) is throwing for the University of Iowa.

Girls Track

There are a lot of unknowns for the West Liberty girls track and field team this season. But the numbers are up, and that’s a good thing.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had double digit girls (participating),” Co-coach Mike Czarnecki said. “When we’re all here, they’re at 24-26.

There are quite a few girls injured right now, however. “There are probably 10-12 girls who have some kind of injury whether it’s muscle or bone related,” Czarnecki said.

Nobody knows quite what to expect from the team and the conference this season. They just expect to go out and compete. “Our expectations are improving meet by meet and hopefully hitting our stride by the time we get to the conference meet,” Czarnecki said.

Three returning athletes are: Reghan McNaul, Jaida Dalton, and Belinda Heckman. Most of the rest of the team has little experience.

Czarnecki will be coaching the first part of the varsity season, then he will move to the junior high girls coach position.

When the junior high season starts, Coach Dennis Riley will step in as head coach. Riley has been a presence in West Liberty girls’ track for years, including head coach.

Czarnecki has coached junior high track for the last 13 years, as head coach the last three years. He has also been a varsity assistant coach for the last two years.

Boys Washington Demon Indoor meet results

Shot put: Cobain Polman 38-06.50, Spencer Daufeldt 38-05.50, and Andy Lopez 31--06.00

Long jump: Ruben Renteria 16-07.50.

60m hurdles: Austin McMichael 9.50, Armando Revelez 9.89.

60m dash: Tanner Iske 7.21, qualified for finals. Finals time 7.76.

4x800 team of Coy Ruess, Nathan Schemmel, Erik Estrada, and Luis Melendez 9:56.19; A.J. Lenz, Ely Gingerich, Seth Feldman, and Polman 10:59.64.

200m dash: T. Iske 24.47; Bryson Iske 27.66.

400m dash: Joe Kelly 55.80. Adrian Velez 56.96.

1600m run: Ruess 5:18.68; Renteria 5:39.58.

Distance Medley: team of McMichael, Michael Hartman, Jackson Gingerich, and Nathan Schemmel 4:16.82.

4x400: team of T. Iske, Feldman, Velez, and Kelly 3:49.54.
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